Summer Vacation Ideas :: Luxury

[trip style = luxury]

Sometimes we need a little inspiration to plan our summer getaway! Last week we talked about trip style = budget getaway ideas, and this week we're flipping the coin and going luxury. And while we're on the topic, don't miss next week's third summer vacation ideas installment about trip style = weekending to extend your business or personal/family-related trip.

Luxury Summer Vacation Ideas trip style = active & adventure I was recently at a Travel Alberta event where I learned about a series of adventures and lodges near Banff hosting heli-skiing in winter and heli-hiking in summer. Canadian much? I couldn't help but take notice when I saw imagery with glacier-fed lakes and snowy peaked vistas combined with woodsy luxe lodges and mountain climbing-worthy gourmet food. Aside from heli-hiking, Canadian Mountain Holidays also offer via ferrata trips {Italian for "road with irons" involving mountain routes with fixed cables, ladders and bridges}---the ultimate outdoor adventure scaling an 8,700 ft. summit by way of metal rung ladders, suspension bridges and narrow pathways... Cost: from $1,730 per person for 2 nights/1.5 days including guided hiking, accommodation, food, wine, gear and transfers.

trip style = spa Around this time last year I ventured into Vernon, BC {about a 5-hour drive from Vancouver} to stay at one of Canada's most unique spa retreats. Its uniqueness originates in Austria, where a member of the family behind Swarovski Crystals financed the $122-million contemporary, hill-top retreat, aptly named Sparkling Hill. The crystal-embellished building made my eyes open brightly with excitement, but the service was not yet up to snuff. When I wrote about it last year, I noted that I would return knowing the hotly-anticipated spa resort would iron out its kinks as time progressed. The beauty of Sparkling Hill is a must-see and the series of sauna and steam rooms a must-try, including the -110 degree Celsius cold sauna. Cost: from $495 for 2 people and 2 nights includes accommodations, parking, wifi, $100 spa credit per person, use of saunas and steam rooms and hot breakfast.

trip style = cruise Whether you cruise out of Vancouver or Seattle to Alaska, Miami or Ft. Lauderdale to the Caribbean or around the Mediterranean, sailing on a luxury liner is a great summer {and mostly all-inclusive sans alcohol} vacation option. I know the idea of being isolated on a boat is scary to some people, but finding a ship that matches your tastes is the key. For example, if you want to go sporty, do Royal Caribbean, if you want to go luxury, do Regent Seven Seas Cruises and if you want to combine yachting and sailing, do Windstar Cruises. And parents, if your kiddies are over 3---or younger in some cases---there is included child care on most ships! A great resource for finding cruises is Vacations ToGo; navigate to their 90-day ticker and browse cruising options all over the world. Cost: from $399 per person for 7 nights, departing Alaska and arriving in Seattle.

PS – Aside from our regularly scheduled content, don’t miss next month’s feature: Off The Beaten Path Escapes!

[images courtesy CMH, @tripstyler & Sparkling Hill]